“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.””
Was Adam not subject to death prior to eating of this fruit? Something along the lines of
“In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.”
Or was Adam neither mortal nor immortal until Adam ate of one or the other fruit?
In light of the fact that the garden had a tree of life, which would grant one who ate of its fruits immortality, was Adam mortal prior? After all what was its purpose in the event that Adam was immortal? (Did it have other healing properties? Knowledge of life, stating life? It wasn’t there should Adam fall because God cut Adam off from its access.)
“And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
(I’ve included this verse because I do not accept that this tree was Jesus. It was a tree.)
It’s fruit granted eternal life
“Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—”
I can think of several scenarios
a) no Adam was not created immortal
b) yes Adam was created immortal
b1) Upon eating of the fruit Adam loses his immortality
c) Adam was neither mortal, nor immortal, he was in a state of “limbo”
I’m not seeking opinions, I’m especially seeking a well formulated argument from Scripture, if one exists at all to the question, “Was Adam created mortal?”
Regardless of whether one considers the trees to be literal or symbolic, there is a much simpler interpretation of this situation.
The tree of life was our opportunity to be given an immortal spiritual life.
The other tree was our opportunity to reject God's teachings and decide for ourselves what is right and wrong.
Adam and Eve had potentially very long physical lives, but by choosing to reject God's way, Adam and Eve lost their opportunity for immortal life.
God describes what Man has done, and what God must do about it:
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
— Genesis 3:22–24
The tree of life was Man's opportunity to gain an immortal spiritual life, and by Adam and Eve's rejection of God's way, that tree was no longer available to Mankind.
The is no need for the doctrine of Original Sin; we don't inherit sin from our ancestors.
Adam's action removed our opportunity for salvation; he didn't infect us with sin.
And without that non-biblical doctrine, there is no need for other beliefs that were added to account for problems with Original Sin, such as the doctrine of Immaculate Conception.
But, when Jesus returns and founds the Kingdom of God, the Tree of Life, which has been locked in Paradise, will again be made available to mankind:
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. — Revelation 2:7
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. — Rev 22:14
God is the only one who can make something out of nothing. We call that "Creation". That which is created does not die...(e.g.:angels).
Man was not created, he was made from existing material...dust. Woman was also made from existing material...man.
So man was not created, he was "formed of the dust of the ground...Gen. 2:7. Therefore, man is not immortal, he never was. Job 14:1-2 put it this way: "Man that is born of woman...dies. He is like a flower, and is cut down...and continues not."
The Bible does not contradict the Bible. Science teaches us that everything that comes from the earth, dies. If man had been a mortal, he would have been on the same level of the angels. Psalms 8:5 tells us, "You have made him a little lower than the angels..."
No, man was not immortal. He did have have the privilege of living a long time. (Adam=950 yrs, Methuselah=969 yrs, Noah=950 yrs) But man blew that one too. God fixed that pretty quick: Genesis 6:3 "...his days shall be 120 days."
So...I'm inclined to believe that if man ate of the Tree of Life, then he would have had eternal life without the need of atonement.
But no, he had to disobey, and now we need atonement for Adam's sin. Original sin. That's why we need a Savior. (John 3:16)
Interesting question, which I'm more inclined to think might have arisen from the repetition of death in Genesis 2:17 (i.e., "in dying you will die"), which is also the verse first mentioning (introducing) death. Perhaps the simplest answer is written in Romans 5:12, where it is written that "by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin." Hence, the cause or reason for death is clearly given.
However, does this alone prove that Adam was immortal, and that the life which he then had would continue throughout all eternity? Not necessarily. In fact, another (perhaps better) meaning of those last few words "for ever" in Genesis 3:22 might indicate "for the age." In other words, until the end of a period of time. Hmmm... an appointed season of sorts? A period of testing, or proving, perhaps? (Job 7:1.) After which a "change" was/is intended? (Job 14:14.) Seems there are a fair number of references to things which end after an appointed time. (Dan. 8:19; 11:35, Hab. 2:3.) And what do you make of Acts 17:26? What exactly are "the times before appointed" and "the bounds of their habitation"?
Extending this a bit further, one might wonder whether eating (either once, or otherwise) from the tree of life would have granted immortality to man (as some have written and taught.) In light of the above possibilities, I'm inclined to think not. Matter of fact, given how all of earthy life depends on some continuing source of nourishment, I'm of the opinion that prior to eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, eating of the tree of life was very likely Adam's primary source of sustenance. But, Gen. 3:22 might well be the acknowledgment that this had changed... if it is perceived that man has "become one with it"... referring not to (or as) God, but rather, with the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Hence, it became necessary for God to remove the ability for man to eat from the tree of life (and live until the end of the age - the time that was/is appointed), which would effectually bring to the forefront God's plan of redemption in the Lord Jesus Christ.
YHWH GOD's removal of the tree of life from the grasp of the people of Adam as a whole according to Genesis 3:22-23 indeed resulted in the beginning of death for that people, as the text clearly attributes the fruit of this Tree of life or lit. Lives as causing Adam the eater to "live forever".
The answer to how Gen 2:17 says, But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (lit. in dying die).
Is only contained in:
Gen 3:22-23 YHWH says …Behold, Adam is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of lives, and eat, and live forever. Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden.
The eating of the tree of lives was according to the text that which caused Adam to live as flesh upon earth forever and continue in the upright state, as it was his right to access life forever.
Only a non-exegetical approach to this text can render Adam as made or created to to live forever, by his nature; perhaps a case could begin to be made upon Adam's likeness and image being after the likeness and image of GOD, but this is not able to be attained from the text, in fact this concept would then beg the question, "Why then did Adam have command to eat of every tree of the garden freely according to Gen 2:16 if he lived forever?".
Indeed, no exegetical answerer from the text seems to suffice.
In support of this exegesis of Genesis chapters 1-3, the eisegesis from the Revelation letter of John, who would represent an understanding of how this relationship between the tree of life and it's eater worked as being restored in the coming paradise can be seen in Revelation 22:14 referring to the same tree of life: "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life…" This is a glimpse of what was lost according to John the apostle.
So as the tree of life/lives was taken so it can be re-given by 'right' which will allow the eater to live forever once again.
A car that cannot take you to your destination is seen as "dead". Humanity which cannot finish their mission of being blessings to the world, subduing it, harnessing it for godly service, is also dead. If you want to know why they are dead, it's because the wind and the waves, even demons, won't submit to us if we are not in union with God. And only the pure can see God.
Adam stopped being pure, when he could tell good from evil. Likewise all his descendants. Competence makes culpable.
Luke 9:60But He said to him, "Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God."
I believed Adam was not immortal when he was created. Because human is fragile, if we are descendant of Adam, then we can see how fragile is us and imagine how fragile Adam was. Because there was no reason to die, and the death came Adam disobey God, so, the death is the end of the relationship between Human and God.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life
in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23
In Paul's writing, death is in contrast with eternal life. Death because of sin is not merely talking about our physical death. In fact, it extends further and talks about our eternal life.
The Bible is not a science book, it doesn't not teach about if Adam was created mortal or immortal. Such argument which based on it is not convincing. Moses wrote Genesis, in a beutiful way. Addressing the creation of the world in a poetry. 1 day was used to create a light, 1 day a gigantic earth, etc. It is hardly convincing to create something in 1 day.
Lets look into Genesis Chapter 1, taken from NIV version:
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the
earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the
deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God
said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the
light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God
called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there
was evening, and there was morning—the first day. 6 And God said, “Let
there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7
So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the
water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there
was evening, and there was morning—the second day. 9 And God said,
“Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry
ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,”
and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was
good. 11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing
plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it,
according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced
vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees
bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw
that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the
third day. 14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the
sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to
mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in
the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16
God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the
lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set
them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern
the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God
saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was
morning—the fourth day. 20 And God said, “Let the water teem with
living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault
of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and
every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in
it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its
kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be
fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and
let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and
there was morning—the fifth day. 24 And God said, “Let the land
produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the
creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each
according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals
according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and
all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds.
And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind
in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in
the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild
animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue
it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over
every living creature that moves on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I
give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and
every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for
food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the
sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that
has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And
it was so. 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And
there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
First Day (verse 3-5)
God created light and separate light from darkness. God created the universe, where energy is essentially the basic element of all things.
Fourth Day: (verse 14-19)
God separated day and night, mosses also writing about Sun light in day and moonlight or star light in night. God also set the star into motion. Frist and Fourth day are describing the cosmic creation.
Second Day (verse 6-8)
Basically it says about God created the "Sky" that separates water and sky, just like the horizon of the sea and sky.
Fifth Day (verse 20-23)
Here it says God created living creatures in water and birds in the sky, the same comparison of water and sky in Second day.
Third Day (verse 9-13)
Now here God created the ground. In a bigger view, its all the earth and sea within the globe. And God also created plants and trees.
Sixth Day (24-31)
Here we can see that God created the living creatures that walks on the ground. And God also created mankind, a living creature that lives on ground.
The poetry ended with the Seventh Day (Genesis 2:2)
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so
on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the
seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the
work of creating that he had done.- Genesis 2:2
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, it is a rest day. So all things were wonderful.
What I am suggesting is that, Moses has read a lot of documents, stories and many things when he was in Egypt. He was a wise man indeed, he has presented the Book of Genesis in a wonderful way. I am sure he was inspired by the Holy Spirit. And I also believed that Mosses may have access to many other scientific books that the ancient people studied about the origin of world. Maybe even evolution of life. But who knows.
In short, I would not look for an scientific answer from the bible, because it was not convincing to me. But I would place my trust and hope on Jesus' teaching, about the purpose of life, and how to live a life that fulfill His purpose.